Many critics have dismissed Jane Austen as nothing more than the "mother goddess of chick lit." For our fall meeting, we have invited Robert Rodi, satirist and author of the Bitch in a Bonnet
book series (and blog) to help us dispel this notion and showcase Austen's wit and sometimes scathing satire. Join us on Saturday, October 1st at the Pasadena Public Library for Beyond the Bonnet
as we reclaim Austen's work from what Rodi calls "the stiffs, the snobs, the simps, and the saps."
You are encouraged to wear a bonnet or hat in solidarity with our favorite author.
Click on the title above to register.
The 2017 AGM Jane Austen in Paradise
will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. We will need a lot of volunteers over the next three years to assist with AGM planning and hosting. Stay tuned for numerous volunteer opportunities!
Events Gone By
2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Emma
. At the JASNA Southwest Spring Meeting aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Juliet McMaster will speak about women on board ships and her latest book, Lynda Hall will examine Miss Bates with a sympathetic eye, and Bernie Su and Company will introduce us to their Web series Emma Approved
. Click on the title above for more information and to register.
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!" At our Winter Meeting, we explored books and reading in Jane Austen's time. Our own Claire Bellanti presented her talk on circulating libraries and we also learned about book binding and bibliotherapy.
On Saturday, September 26, we celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the glamour of the Duchess of Richmond's Ball and the following brutality of the Battle of Waterloo. Peter Graham gave us an illustrated lecture on the ball and it's literary representations (most famously in Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
and Thackeray's Vanity Fair
). Fritz Bronner from the War Horse and Militaria Heritage Foundation shared his experience as part of the bicentennial re-enactments in Waterloo in June 2015. This year's Fall Meeting took place on the beautiful campus of Chapman University in Orange.
JASNA Southwest will again have a booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
to be held April 18-19, 2015 at USC. Stop by our booth to see some of the latest books, meet and greet with authors, and get your books signed. Consider volunteering to talk to visitors about your favorite writer - Jane Austen-- assist in the decorating the booth, help with sales, or assist with one of the other ways to spread Jane to the masses. To volunteer, email Emily Bergman
. Indicate times you are available: Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon.
On April 11, join us at the Los Angeles Athletic Club as we consider Adaptation: Bringing Jane Austen's Novels to the Screen and Stage
. JASNA Southwest is pleased to present a new 3-Act Show. In Act 1, Jane Austen Sings!, we see scenes from Pride and Prejudice, A Musical. In Act 2, a "surprise guest" discusses film and TV adaptation. In Act 3, we see scenes from The Elliots, A Play Based on Jane Austen's Persuasion and clips from other adaptations of the novel. Click on the title above for more information and to register.
On Saturday, Dec 6, we again celebrated the birthday of our favorite author at the elegant Town and Gown on the USC Campus, elected new Board members, and explored the theme of the theater in Mansfield Park
. Dr. Susan Allen Ford considered to what degree Austen intended us to subscribe to Fanny and Edmund's condemnation of the mounting of Kotzebue's Lovers' Vows
. Jennifer Howard explored eloquence, artfulness and actors in Mansfield Park
in her award-winning essay. Diana Birchall, Syrie James, and a large cast of merry players, amused and delighted us with their wickedly witty look at the back stage antics at Mansfield Park.
On Saturday, Sept 20, we met at the Glendale Public Library for the JASNA Southwest Fall Meeting on Jane Austen, Re-imagined
. The program included Syrie James detailing research for her latest book Jane Austen’s First Love
and presentations by Pemberley Digital creator Jay Bushman and writer Kate Rorick, from the creative team who have brought us the Web series Lizzie Bennet Diaries
and Emma Approved
135 people attended our Spring Meeting, In the Garden with Fanny Price, held at the UCLA Faculty Center on Saturday, May 31. On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mansfield Park
, Kim Wilson introduced us to gardens in Jane Austen's time, Anne Mellor discussed slavery in Mansfield Park, Philip Rundel briefed us on Southern California botanical gardens, especially the UCLA Botanical Garden that attendees toured, Chapman University students gave papers on silence in Mansfield Park, Terry Ryan shared Dr. John Halperin's musings on Mansfield Park
as autobiography, and Diana Birchall gave us her thoughts on symbols in Mansfield Park
and an in-depth examination of Mrs. Norris.
On Saturday, Dec 7, at USC we considered the P & P characters we love to hate: Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, George Wickham, Lydia Bennett, the Bingley sisters, and even Charlotte Lucas (do we hate her, pity her, or admire her practical scheming?).
JASNA Southwest presented Dr. Michael Suk-Young Chwe, UCLA associate professor of political science and author of the recently released Jane Austen, Game Theorist
, at our latest half-day Fall program. Dr. Chwe talked to us about Jane Austen's remarkable insights into strategic thinking, with examples taken from her novels, at the Pasadena Public Library, September 7, from 9:30 - 11:30am. Click on the title above for more information and photos.
For the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, we enjoyed a fabulous program in partnership with Chapman University. For Chapman, Andrew Davies hosted a two-night viewing of his iconic P & P mini-series that introduced all of us to Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy on Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th to which we were all invited. Mr. Davies then spoke to us about the series at our Spring Meeting on April 27th along with presentations from Rand Boyd, Pamela Ezell, and four young scholars from Chapman's English Department. Click on the title above for more information and photos.
JASNA Southwest again hosted a booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books held April 20-21 at USC. Over 1000 people visited the booth during the two day event. JASNA Southwest thanks all of the hard working volunteers for making the booth a success, notably Emily Bergman for coordinating the event and Paula Dacker for managing the book sales. Click on the title above to see a photo of them in the booth
Over 150 people laughed with Jane Austen at the JASNA Southwest Winter Meeting, featuring Audrey Bilger talking about Jane Austen's use of subversive comedy, Tim Erwin showing us the importance of the visual in Northanger Abbey through the works of humorous 18th century cartoonists, and Jane Austen Unscripted entertaining us with improvisational comedy. NOTE: Those who could not hear Tim Erwin's paper may read it through a link on the home page.
JASNA Southwest sponsored a half-day program at the Pasadena City Library on Jane Austen vs. The Victorians. This is the first in what we hope will be a series of smaller programs between our two major meetings each year. Click the title above for photos.
Click on the title above to see a full report and photos from our 2012 Spring Meeting, a seaside holiday with Jane Austen at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.
JASNA Southwest's booth at the LA Times Festival of Books was a great hit! We had even more visitors, distributed even more JASNA-SW information, and sold even more books from Vroman's than we did last year. Click the title above for a photo montage.
On Saturday, 3 December 2011, we learned about Regency women's health issues at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Click on the title above to see a full report on the meeting, with photos.
Our first-ever super-regional weekend at the Huntington Gardens & Library and the Westin Pasadena was a spectacular success. Click on the title above for a photo recap.
Our first-ever JASNA-SW booth at the Festival was a resounding success. Please click on the title above for photos.
Please click on the title above for a recap and photos of this event.
Please click on the title above for a report of this exciting event!
Please click on the title above for a text-and-photo recap of this program.
Click on the title above for a recap and photos of this event.
Click on the title above for photos and a recap of this event.
"Silver Forks, Golden Memories, and Library Treasures." Featured talk: Ed Copeland on Silver Fork Novels.
Click on title above for photos of this exciting event.
If you missed out on this exciting event, you can click on the title above for a recap of our program.
Domestic Entertainments in Jane Austen's Time
Diana Birchall and People take us on a nostalgic journey.
Strategies and Choices:
What Would Jane Do?
September 7, 2013
9:30am - 11:30 am
Pasadena Public Library
285 East Walnut Street
Donald R. Wright Auditorium
Pasadena CA 91101
ProgramOver 80 of us enjoyed the presentation by Dr. Michael Suk-Young Chwe, UCLA Associate Professor of political science and author of the recently released Jane Austen, Game Theorist at the Pasadena Public Library. At this half-day program, Dr. Chwe talked about Jane Austen's remarkable insights into strategic thinking, with examples taken from her novels.
Game theory is the technical and mathematical study of how people make choices while interacting with others. Dr. Chwe says that strategic thinking is game theory's central concept: when choosing an action, a person thinks about how others will act. Jane Austen didn't apply the math but she was a master at the penetrating observation of people and their strategies. Dr. Chwe showed us how Jane Austen theorized choice and preferences, prized strategic thinking, argued that jointly strategizing with a partner is the surest foundation for intimacy, and analyzed why superiors are often strategically clueless about inferiors. She even has lessons for game theorists today, according to Dr. Chwe. "Austen makes particular advances in a topic not yet taken up by modern game theory: the conspicuous absence of strategic thinking, what I call 'cluelessness.' " In addition to a lively talk, Dr Chwe lead us in an activity where we applied our fledgling game theory skills!
Dr Chwe expounds on Fanny's strategic thinking in Mansfield Park.
Dr. Chwe signed copies of Jane Austen, Game Theorist
after the program.
PresenterDr. Michael Suk-Young Chwe (pronounced like "chess" without the "ss") is a professor of political science at UCLA. Dr. Chwe received his doctorate in economics at Northwestern University and his bachelor's at Caltech. He has previously been on the faculty of the University of Chicago (economics) and New York University (political science). His research centers on game theory and its applications to social movements, voting and information aggregation, social networks, monetary policy, violence, and literature. He became interested in Jane Austen after watching movies and reading books with his children.